This week 911 dispatchers are being recognized for their crucial roles in ensuring that help is on the way for people in need of immediate assistance.
Servicing those that are often injured, in danger, or simply in distress, dispatchers are typically the first point of contact for those who dial 9-1-1.
In a statement highlighting the importance of their duties, the Santa Barbara Police Department said dispatchers are often referred to as the "central nervous system" of law enforcement agencies, as they coordinate most responses to ongoing incidents and operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
San Luis Obispo Police Chief Rick Scott also spoke highly on the significance of dispatchers saying, "our dispatchers are the voice of our department and the calm in the storm for civilians in crisis."
Katherine Mercer, a dispatcher in San Luis Obispo tells KSBY she's glad National Telecommunications Operators' Week recognizes their work, because after they respond to calls from those in need of help, their services often go unnoticed.
She says as a testament to their work, dispatchers are even considered "first responders" as well.